Ardal O'Hanlon began his show business career while at Dublin University where he and his friends would hire themselves out as wacky after-dinner speakers. After this he got together with two fellow university students, Barry Murphy and Kevin Gildea to form the comedy troupe, Mr Trellis. They established The Comedy Cellar, Ireland's first alternative comedy club in the upstairs room of The International Bar, Dublin.
In 1994 Ardal and Kevin went to London to enter The Comedy Newcomer Of The Year competition at The Hackney Empire which Ardal won. It was while performing his stand-up routines in London that Ardal was spotted by Graham Lineham, who was casting for a new Channel 4 sitcom entitled "Father Ted". Ardal won the role of the innocent but extremely daft, Father Dougal McGuire and his career has gone from strength to strength since.
As well as "Father Ted", Ardal has also starred in the TV series "My Hero" and "Big Bad World". He has hosted a series of "The Stand Up Show" on BBC1 and made guest appearances in shows such as "Whose Line Is It Anyway?", "Shooting Stars" and recently he hosted "The 100 Greatest TV Characters" on Channel 4. Ardal has also acted on the big screen in "The Butcher Boy" (1997) and was an extra in "My Left Foot", in which you can apparently see his right ear in the church scene!
More recently Ardal went to Hollywood to make a short film entitled "Another Bobby O'Hara Story" in the title role as a gangster! He also voiced the reindeer in the Comic Relief Christmas Day animation special "Robbie The Reindeer- Hooves Of Fire". He also appeared in "Flying Saucer Rock 'n' Roll" in 1997. Earlier this year Ardal was also invited to New York to film his own comedy special for the Comedy Central TV Network.
In October and November 2002, Ardal opened in the play "See You Next Tuesday" at The Gate Theatre in Dublin. The show was a tremendous success as it was when the show transferred to the West End in London in the Autumn of 2003.
Recently, Ardal has left the role of Thermoman in "My Hero" to take on the lead role in Ben Elton's BBC TV sit-com titled "Blessed" in which he portrayed a harassed record producer trying to cope with life with two young children and the demands they make on his time.
In January 2006 Ardal hosted "Perfect Night In" on BBC2 here in the UK. He effectively took control of the channel for three hours while he discussed his favourite film and TV programmes and the station screened his number one choices such as the film "The Man With Two Brains" starring Steve Martin.
Ardal was fantastic. Many of our guests have told us that they found him to be hilarious. Conor and I thought he was absolutely brilliant. His choice of material and the way he dealt with the Irish and English in the audience was fantastic. His self-deprecating style was very warm. People were telling us that they literally laughed their way home from Doonbeg thinking about his jokes ... Please extend to Ardal our warmest thanks and our very best wishes. He is not only great on stage but a lovely warm man as well.
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